In commemoration of Queensland, I should’ve posted this at 11:16…..
Because it was 44 to 12.
Anyway, the Rep Round is done and it’s back to regular Club football programming, and this weekend the New Zealand Warriors play their first game in New Zealand since the end of 2019, ending 2 years of captivity at the hands of the ARL Commission….
And we also mark the 5th annual Beanies for Brain Cancer Round, raising money for the Mark Hughes Foundation and brain cancer research + treatment, named after and run by the 2-time Newcastle Knights premiership player Mark Hughes, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2013, but in spite of a devastating diagnosis Hughesy is still with us and he’s gone on to raise millions of dollars with the help of good people like his wife Kirralee and his mate from Kurri Kurri Paul ‘The Chief’ Harragon.
A great weekend, and Beanies for Brain Cancer is also a great excuse to get yourself a beanie for this time of year, so you can end up looking like Clint ‘The Wet Bandit’ Gutherson:
For whatever reason, FootyTips includes State of Origin tipping, so somehow I wound up with 8/9 in Round 15, which is the first time all year I’ve scored an 8 in a round…
Thanks to a bit of cheating.
Progressive score = 83/118 (70.3%), without Origin 82/116
Round 16 Picks:
Manly Sea Eagles (10th) vs Melbourne Storm (2nd) at 4 Pines Park, Thursday 7:50pm AEST
Manly bubbling along without Turbo, but they do now have Jake Trbojevic fresh after disproving Queenslanders that New South Welshpeople just don’t get Origin, while the Storm don’t have Cameron Munster thanks to injury, and Felise Kaufusi flew to the US to be with his sick father, although he was able to get there 10 minutes earlier than expected after being sin binned by Ash Klein in Perth.
Anyway, Storm to find a way to win, because it seems like they always do, because they’re a damn good organisation.
Newcastle Knights (12th) vs Gold Coast Titans (16th) at McDonald Jones Stadium, Friday 6pm AEST
Even with Kalyn Ponga struggling to remember what day of the week it is, the Knights can’t win for Mark Hughes in front of a full house in the Hunter, against the worst team in the comp, their existence should be questioned.
Penrith Panthers (1st) vs Sydney Roosters (9th) at Panthers Stadium, Friday 7:55pm AEST
Nathan Cleary sent a gentle reminder to the world of the frightening destruction he’s capable of when he scored 24 points in Perth on Sunday night, while Joey Manu ran for 400 miles (Or 404 metres) playing for New Zealand against Tonga on Saturday, setting some kind of world record for metres gained in an international or first grade match, and for reference, Clint Gutherson has the NRL record with 369 metres in a game.
Meantime, the flailing Roosters decided to move Joey Manu into the No.6 jersey on the day after his 26th birthday, as Luke Keary deals with more concussion issues, and they made a bit of a shock move by signing the wantaway Warrior Matt Lodge for the remainder of 2022, and I think Lodge should be commended for coming back to the NRL….
Because, instead of hopping on to a Premiership contender for the rest of 2022, he signed with the Roosters instead.
Panthers in the Mountains, with the enchanting musk of Sex Panther, because 60% of the time, it works every time.
Canterbury Bulldogs (13th) vs Cronulla Sharks (4th) at Commbank Stadium, Saturday 3pm AEST
Unfortunately for the Sharks, they do have the exact same 17 as the one that thumped Wests a fortnight ago, but now they’ve been hit with the crushing news that their best player of the past month has been sidelined….
Yes, coach Mick Potter will miss the game due to covid protocols.
So naturally that bit of news leads me to thinking that the Sharks will get the job done, especially given they’ve all but avoided the loss of players to Origin duty, as did the Bulldogs until Matt Burton was selected in Game II, but you never know, I think Canterbury will give them a hell of a fight, but once again it’s going to be a….
North Queensland Cowboys (3rd) vs Brisbane Broncos (5th) at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Saturday 5:30pm AEST
Round 2 of the Queensland Derby for 2022, and the John Wayne-inspired Cowboys delivered a 38-12 arse kicking on the Broncos at Lang Park back in Round 3, which turned out to be a sign of things to come from the Cows this year, but this time around Adam Reynolds is back for the Broncos, who desperately needed a weekend off after getting smashed by injuries in Rounds 14 and 15, even as they continued to play exceedingly well…
But the Cowboys this season are ON A RAMPAGE, and as the Skatt Bros once said, if you give your love to a Cowboy man, he’s going to love you as hard as he can can.
South Sydney Rabbitohs (7th) vs Parramatta Eels (6th) at Accor Stadium, Saturday 7:35pm AEST
Latrell Mitchell is back after his hamstring injury sidelined him for 2 months, followed by a bout of the ol’ spicy cough, but quite frankly Souths have been so shithouse this year that I doubt even Mitchell’s influence is going to revive the dying patient that is their 2022 season, even though Souths have won the last 4 games against the Eels by no fewer than 14 points, including 28 points in Round 21 last year on the Gold Coast.
Anyway, I’ll take the Eels, and I think I might go for a band that I’ve never used in a Random NRL Pick…..
ELO, AKA ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA, OR SHOULD I SAY, EEL-ECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA!
New Zealand Warriors (14th) vs Wests Tigers (15th) at Mt Smart Stadium, Sunday 4pm NZST
It’s great to see the people of New Zealand finally get an expansion team into the NRL, because they’ve been crying out for one since 1994, and unlike Split Enz, who spent six months in a leaky boat, the Warriors spent 2 years in a leaky boat circumnavigating Australia!
St George-Illawarra Dragons (8th) vs Canberra Raiders (11th) at WIN Stadium, Sunday 4:05pm AEST
One of these teams has a fetish for beating up on the Dragons….
The other team is Canberra.
Yep, this is one of the more lopsided rivalries in the game, with the Raiders being the Dragons’ worst opponent outside of the Melbourne Storm, as the Green Machine lead 21-1-12 since 1999, and that lead was built on the fact that the Dragons couldn’t win in Canberra for 14 years between 2000 and 2014, and that was despite the fact the Dragons were a consistent finals team that won a Premiership + 2 minor premierships, while the Raiders were a middling team that never got past Week 2 of September.
So yes, this is one of the rare instances where I think Ricky Stuart’s team can genuinely win a game, which will prove to be my downfall, because as Kermit The Frog claims, it’s not easy being green: